Here is a list of some of the resources and tools I use and can recommend. Hopefully, these will help you explore and use your creatives gifts!
If you’ve got any questions about anything listed here, hit me up and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
I use a lot of different gear based on what I’m producing, where I am at the time, and sometimes how quickly I may need to produce something! I have almost all of my gear listed on my Kit profile – cameras, mics, lights and other gear stuff.
Website / Hosting
I use WordPress for my website and hosting too. I’ve been a fan of WordPress for years. They have four different options to choose from: Free, Personal, Premium and Business. I use the “Premium” plan for my site which gives me access to thousands of customizable themes. Plus they have amazing and helpful support – live during the week and via email over the weekend.
This is my go-to for storage especially since I use a lot of the Google apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Photos. You can get a free account with limited storage. I pay extra for 2TB of storage so I can have an archive of some of my videos in the cloud. Easy to use and sync too.
I edit on Final Cut Pro X and love it! I grew up on AVID, then switched to Adobe Premiere Pro, before going with Final Cut Pro X (also known as FCPX). Premiere is a solid program but I think FCPX is better. It’s a lot easier to use, has a more visual layout and is way faster. Another plus, no subscription. You pay one price, one time and you get all the updates. You can even try it for 30 days for free!
This is an extra app that really comes in handy for quickly converting video and audio for a ton of platforms and uses. It only costs $49.99 and works seamlessly with FCPX. When I edit a video, I send it to Compressor, select what I want it converted to and hit go. And you can have it convert one video into multiple types of files at the same time! Not a must, but I do recommend it if you produce a lot of videos.
Rather than take a chance on “free music”, I have a subscription to StoryBlocks Audio (formally AudioBlocks). The subscription gives me unlimited access and downloads to currently over 100,000 tracks which includes music, sound effects, and loops.! All tracks are royalty free and can be used for any project – personal and commercial. And the tracks are cleared for life!
Yes, there are a lot of free music sites, but if you get music from a free site, take the time to read over their usage policy before you download anything.
Images and graphics
My main go-to is StoryBlocks Images (formally GraphicStock). They have a good selection of photos, graphics, and illustration. At current, my membership gives me access to over 400,000 royalty-free images. Same deal as the audio – all are cleared for everything, forever
I also use Unsplash and Gratisography. Both are free and cleared for use anywhere. Unsplash has some absolutely beautiful photos while Gratisography is more quirky but still very cool.
I have a membership with VideoStock (another part of StoryBlocks). They have a good amount of footage, backgrounds and even after effects files. Footage is available in 4K, HD, and SD. It’s easy to search but I’ve found can be somewhat limited based on what you’re looking for. Not everything in the library is covered under your membership, so I suggest searching with the “Member Library” checked so you know exactly what is available.
I have used PicMonkey for years! Is it PhotoShop? Nope. But it does have a lot of options from filters, to overlays to text, and overall is very easy to use. You can even build graphics too with transparent backgrounds and download as .PNG files. There is a free version, but it is limited. Plans range from $5.99/mo to $9.99/mo.
I use Canva for all my graphics. All of my social media graphics were created in Canva. Even my logos were designed in Canva too. They have templates for almost anything and every template is 100% customizable. Canva also keeps all of your designs for free. You can use Canva for free or upgrade to a paid version. I do the paid version so I can unlock more perks for my designs.
DropBox is my main go-to for sharing videos and files with others. It’s easy to upload video and set-up a folder if you have more than one video and share it with anyone. There is a free version but the storage limit is really really small. I pay $9.99 per month and get up to 1TB of space.
I also use Google Drive for hosting but think DropBox is better and easier for file sharing. If you’re looking more for storage, I suggest Google Drive.
One word – Pippa! I did a lot of research before I launched a podcast and started out with Libsyn, which is a very strong platform, but I found it somewhat difficult to manage. Then I found Pippa. You simply set-up your account, upload your audio file and they take care of everything else. They have great customer service and really great, visual analytics, Another big plus, you can have multiple podcasts under one account! If you’re on another podcast hosting platform and want to switch, they even help with that too!
A totally free app I use to save web articles to read later. I have it as a Chrome extension and on my iPhone. It seamlessly integrates into your system making it as easy as clicking the icon and saving an article for later. Inside the app, you can even create categories for your articles. The app automatically syncs on every device. Pocket even provides the link if you want to jump back to the original source.